Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra has come up with a massive prediction, revealing his pick for the most expensive Indian bowler in the upcoming mega-auction for the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Notably, the players’ auction for the fifteenth edition of the cash-rich league is all set to take place on February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru. The season will mark the arrival of two new franchises – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – making the tournament a 10-team affair.

While all eight already existing franchises have released the list of retained players, the two new sides have also selected their draft picks. There is no doubt that every franchise will look for a quality, fast bowler, and there would be quite a few names up for grabs.

Chopra reckoned that out of all the available high-quality pacers, former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) paceman Deepak Chahar will fetch the highest bid in the forthcoming auctions. Chopra said Chahar guarantees three overs with the new ball and his wicket-taking ability makes him one of the most sought-after players. Chopra felt that Chahar’s improved batting ability would play a major role behind his pick in the auction.

“Deepak is your bank in the first three overs. He can come and give you early wickets in the powerplay. There is nothing better than that. He can break the back of the opponent. In death overs, he is alright, not great. But that can work. I feel CSK will try to get him back once again. Ahmedabad and Lucknow will also try. Every franchise will try to get him in their team. And he has started batting as well. So he’s going to cost you. He’s batting well, too, now. So, he’s a good prospect with the bat, too,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

Notably, Chahar has been a consistent performer for the MS Dhoni-led CSK, especially with the new ball. He has taken 59 wickets in 63 matches, with his best coming in 2019, where he bagged 22 scalps. However, CSK did not retain Chahar ahead of the mega auction as they went with Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also observed that there are some other options like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel, but they won’t cost much. Not to mention, Harshal was the Purple Cap winner of the 2021 season after taking a record of 32 wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). However, RCB didn’t retain him for IPL 2022.

“You can think of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi…I didn’t even go with Harshal Patel, despite him picking 32 wickets last season to win the Purple Cap. But I feel probably he won’t cost that much,” added Chopra.

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